Stem cell review series: role of neurogenesis in age-related memory disorders.

Elodie Drapeau, Djoher Nora Abrous
Aging Cell. 2008-08-01; 7(4): 569-589
DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2008.00369.x

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1. Aging Cell. 2008 Aug;7(4):569-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2008.00369.x. Epub
2008 Jan 23.

Stem cell review series: role of neurogenesis in age-related memory disorders.

Drapeau E(1), Nora Abrous D.

Author information:
(1)Doetsch’s Laboratory, Columbia University, Department of Pathology, P&S
14-511, 630 W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Neuroplasticity is characterized by growth and branching of dendrites, remodeling
of synaptic contacts, and neurogenesis, thus allowing the brain to adapt to
changes over time. It is maintained in adulthood but strongly repressed during
aging. An age-related decline in neurogenesis is particularly pronounced in the
two adult neurogenic areas, the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus. This
age-related decline seems to be attributable mainly to limited proliferation,
associated with an age-dependent increase in quiescence and/or a lengthening of
the cell cycle, and is closely dependent on environmental changes. Indeed, when
triggered by appropriate signals, neurogenesis can be reactivated in senescent
brains, thus confirming the idea that the age-related decrease in new neuron
production is not an irreversible, cell-intrinsic process. The coevolution of
neurogenesis and age-related memory deficits–especially regarding spatial
memory–during senescence supports the idea that new neurons in the adult brain
participate in memory processing, and that a reduction in the ability to generate
new neurons contributes to the appearance of memory deficits with advanced age.
Furthermore, the age-related changes in hippocampal plasticity and function are
under environmental influences that can favor successful or pathological aging. A
better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis is necessary to
develop new therapeutic tools to cure or prevent the development of memory
disorders that may appear during the course of aging in some individuals.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2008.00369.x
PMCID: PMC2990912
PMID: 18221417 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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